Southampton to shop in Eredivisie: five talents Koeman could capture
The Eredivisie has long been famed for exhilarating attacking football, with Premier League clubs often dipping into the Dutch top tier to pluck out it’s best and brightest.
Now former Feyenoord boss, and current Southampton coach, Ronald Koeman looks set to go shopping at his old club, with two centre back talents from the Rotterdam team said to be on his radar.
Crafty Koeman (11/8 with Coral to guide his side to a top four Premier League finish) has already plundered the Eredivise to great effect, with the likes of Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic helping propel the Saints into a top four battle.
Here, we run the rule over Southampton’s potential future signings, and contemplate who else may be a fine fit at St Mary’s.
Sven van Beek (Feyenoord, central defence)
A no-nonsense centre back, strong and powerful Van Beek has already made 44 appearances for Feyenoord and has become a mainstay in the heart of defence this season.
It was Koeman who gave determined Van Beek, who can also cover right back, his professional debut, not long after the youngster had considered quitting professional football.
Now the 20-year-old who, like any Dutch centre half worth his salt, can deliver pinpoint passes from the back, may get the chance to repay his former mentor.
Jordie Clasie (Feyenoord, central midfield)
Pass master Clasie has been creator-in-chief for boyhood club Feyenoord for three and a half seasons and will likely find his way to the Premier League sooner rather than later.
A midfield conductor who is small in stature but blessed with vision and tenacity, the deep-lying playmaker would be a fantastic replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin.
With doubts also surrounding Jack Cork’s future, influential Clasie could find space to develop at Southampton, where his workrate and technique would see him slot seemlessly into Koeman’s system.
Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven, winger)
Current Netherlands golden boy Depay has continued dazzling since his headline grabbing exploits as the youngest World Cup scorer in his country’s history.
Linked with Manchester United and Tottenham, a switch to Southampton may seem unlikely but, if the Saints grab a coveted top four spot at the expense of one of their rivals, things could change quickly.
Definitely a signing for the summer, rapid wideman Depay has spoken of his determination to play in the Champions League, and under Koeman could hone his impressive nose for goal.
Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord, central defence)
With skipper Jose Fonte approaching 32, and Toby Alderweireld only on loan at St Mary’s, Koeman appears to be planning for the future.
Currently best in class, having conceded just 16 Premier League goals, Southampton could be set to reinforce their rearguard further by courting Van Beek’s highly-rated partner Kongolo.
The Feyenoord defender is a left footer who can also play as a full back, and has reportedly been tracked by rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, with younger brother Rodney already at the Etihad.
It would certainly be a coup if Koeman could convince athletic and pacey Kongolo, who was selected for Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad, to plump for a switch to the south coast instead.
Jetro Willems (PSV, left back)
Ryan Bertrand has so far won a host of admirers during his temporary stint at St Mary’s this term, but should a permanent move fail to materialise, Koeman could do worse than look at PSV’S flying full back Willems.
The step up to the Premier League would undeniably be a tall order but, at just 20, there is much potential to work with. Willems is joint top for assists in the Eredivise this term, with eight to his name so far, which is a fine haul for a defender at any level.